One in 12 full-time workers in the U.S. acknowledges having used illegal drugs in the past month, says a governmetn study reported by the Associated Press. Most of those who report using illicit drugs are employed full-time, with the highest rates among restaurant workers, 17.4 percent, and construction workers, 15.1 percent. About 4 percent of teachers and social service workers reported using illegal drugs in the past month, which were among the lowest rates.
The current usage rate is 8.2 percent. Two previous government surveys reflected a usage rate of 7.6 percent in 1994 and 7.7 percent in 1997, but those studies involved a much smaller sample of interviews. The study was issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Most of the illicit drug use involved marijuana. Anne Skinstad, a researcher and clinical psychologist at the University of Iowa, called the results “very worrisome” because there are fewer treatment programs than there used to be to assist employees and employers with a dependence on drugs. Testing programs for drug use are fairly prevalent, with 48.8 percent of full-time workers telling the government that their employers conducted testing for drug use.